- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Update PhD and other stuff...

Even though this blog is a personal initiative, it's not often that I share such details. Perhaps I'm still more accustomed to listening, or at least that is what I believe.

Anyway a lot's been happening in WN4 and L39, as for us all globally.

In January 2014 I started a part-time distance learning PhD programme at Lancaster University in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning. Part 1 2014-2015 included two five-day residential's, both mandatory at Lancaster which I attended being able to commute the 40-odd miles from Wigan. One of the greatest gifts presented was to learn of the other student's work, projects and partake in the online learning and discussion. As if getting on-board was not enough, being told at the start of Parts 1 & 2 that we were all there because we were deemed capable was a great encouragement. Even with a sense of distance now that still speaks to me, ploughing this furrow...

Although I was assigned a supervisor for Part 2 I did not get to complete my research proposal. I've had to exit. I do feel I've bottled it, but there is a sense of achievement in having earned an MRes. It has been a great and rewarding experience.

If anyone without funding for a course is thinking of pursuing post-graduate studies; do stop a moment. Seriously consider seeking out funding avenues, bursaries, scholarships, trusts and union support before you start. I was in the process of trying to raise funding but doing this having fallen behind and between parts 1 & 2 is not the place to be. Being turned down rather sealed the matter. On paper I've some fees to clear this month, but a further two years would be difficult for me even though I am (still) working full-time. There is an ongoing public sector pay-cut in effect taking heed of what the unions say. In effect my peers and I are 10% less better off than I was in 2010. That really annoys me, not just personally, but healthcare is competing for recruits in an increasingly competitive jobs, careers market.

In May 2015 my mother suffered a major stroke. We had had an amazing time in New York. She was cleared medically to go, was due a check up on return. There were two nurses with her but calamity can still happen. I learned afterwards of some 'difficulties' before we travelled; not feeling 100% which was shared with friends but not the 'nurses'. So another tip in these circumstance: ask the pointed questions. Have an ECG before travel not just planned upon return. Now in addition to visiting nursing and residential care homes at work, I also visit in my own time. The cost to me is as nothing to a dearest mum who could walk down town, drive to Liverpool to see her sister and take yearly trips to Benalmádena. Oh yeah... and cook a great breakfast.

With memories of the Empire State (all floors), Little Italy, Statue of Liberty cruise, Grand Central, a subway ride to Hoboken and Frank Sinatra's home ground, the Rainbow Room, Central Park and Strawberry Fields, Ground Zero and "On The Town" I'll try and get back to New York and find her. It is as if we left her there.

In the two years of Part 1 five studies were completed. The module that coincided with the aftermath of New York did suffer and was a struggle. There was encouragement to look to publication but more work would have been needed with the one study that might have passed muster. The learning was invaluable however and the exposure to the literature, theory, practice and research methodologies. What was insightful was the process of generating data: real data!

Another factor prompting the exit was that in October 2015 I also became a Granddad. I still can't believe it! Magic!! Of course, this discussion and the points (excuses) raised are an exercise in Hodges' axial journey; that is, the to-and-fro between dichotomies of reasons to try and carry on and reasons to exit.

Speaking of to-and-fro there are a few more twists and turns to add, which I'll write about soon.

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